The nation's most crowded television market will get its first new station in four years when KSLD Channel 62 becomes the Los Angeles area's third Spanish-language broadcaster.
The newcomer will have to compete with established Spanish-language outlets KMEX Channel 34 and KVEA Channel 52. Local leader KMEX claims about 65% of the Los Angeles area Spanish-language viewers while rival KVEA has the remaining 35%, according to industry executives.
"I certainly think it is a profitable proposition," said Manuel Reyes, media director at La Agencia de Orci, a Latino advertising and marketing firm. But, he added, KSLD might have a tough time securing Spanish-language programming from Latin American sources that produce the popular \o7 novelas, \f7 Spanish soap operas.
First on Air Since '84
Although KSLD officially starts business Dec. 11, the estimated 2.7 million Spanish-language viewers in the Los Angeles market will have to wait until Jan. 1 or soon after before watching their first program.
KSLD, the first station to begin broadcasting to the greater Los Angeles market since KHSC Channel 46 in Ontario went on the air in April, 1984, must comply with Federal Communications Commission regulations by first broadcasting its station color bars for an allotted period. KSLD's president, Jack Hodin, is not bothered by the delay, though.
"It has taken us more than seven years to finally see this day," said Hodin, explaining that his struggle for KSLD's license began almost by accident while shopping for Los Angeles radio station.
10 Hours of Programming
Instead of finding a radio station, Hodin's Sunland Broadcasting Inc. and 10 other applicants soon saw that the new commercial broadcasting channel authorized by the FCC for Riverside could be used as a convenient halfway point for reaching viewers in Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino and San Diego counties, he said. Finally, after years of legal wrangling, the full commission reaffirmed an earlier decision last year and granted Sunland its operating license and station construction permit, Hodin said.
KSLD expects to initially go on the air with 10 hours of daily programming but eventually build up to a full 24 hours by mid-summer, Hodin said.
Hodin said the station's initial $3.5-million start-up cost, including the construction of a $2-million high-tech transmitting tower on Mt. Baldy, would be entirely debt financed. But Hodin declined to disclose Sunland's financial backing.